Lake Harriet Interior Design and Home Renovation Project

Matt and Maile had been looking for the right house for a long time. Maile was pregnant with their first child and they were eager to prepare a home before their daughter’s arrival.

When they finally found their place – a home Matt says could easily be on Lake Como in Italy, but instead sits on Lake Harriet in Minneapolis – they called Martin Patrick 3 Studio (MP3) immediately. They knew they wanted the esteemed team to design a dream home that fit their needs and personalities.

“We closed on our house on March 30th,” says Matt, “but we hired Martin Patrick 3 in February and had the team go into the house with us to get ideas for the space.”

MP3 Studio then enlisted Purcell Quality to manage the necessary remodeling and construction.

The goal was clear: To complete both design and construction before Maile’s due date in a mere three months. Remarkably, the last worker left on the morning of the day they brought their daughter home.


A Design Team Up for the Challenge

MP3 is a unique firm whose work spans men’s apparel, fine home furnishings, and interior design. They are well known for the elegant, curated aesthetic displayed in their 17,000-square-foot retail space and showroom.

“I had shopped at the Martin Patrick 3 store many times before,” explains Matt. “I was very familiar with their style and knew I liked the art and furniture they sell in store.”

But people don’t always realize that MP3 started as an interior design firm. Today, MP3 Studio is the architecturally-driven, full-service interior design arm of the company.

Greg Walsh heads the talented team of designers, each with their own specialties and strengths.

“We all bring our best skills to the table,” says Amber Etzel, an interior designer at Martin Patrick 3 Studio. “From our experts in finishes and stone products, to the people who do our drawing and drafting, the team effort is what makes our projects come together.”

Capturing Matt and Maile’s Eclectic Style

MP3 Studio takes pride in making every space wholly unique, emphasizing the client’s personal vision.

“We don’t have a specific style that we’re known for,” explains Leigh Hull, another member of the six-person Interiors team. “We do contemporary to traditional and everything in between, which makes every project really unique and client focused.”

To get started, Matt inventoried and photographed every piece of furniture and artwork they owned and Maile shared inspiration photos of designs she loved. But the expecting couple was ultimately prepared to trust MP3’s expertise and give them plenty of freedom.


The designers paid close attention to Matt and Maile’s needs, priorities, and tastes so they could fulfill their wishes and develop a design that fit their personalities and lifestyle.

“We knew they’d be a growing family, and they have a dog, so we took that into consideration and chose fabrics that will wear well,” says Hull.

Finding Inspiration in Architecture and Materials

In an early meeting, Maile recalls MP3 laying out a board of fabric and asking, “What colors, patterns, and textures are you drawn to?”

“That’s how our entire theme transpired,” she says. “They took our selections, then guided us to pick out furniture based on those fabrics.”

For example, MP3 took a loveseat Matt and Maile brought back from their time living on the East Coast and remade it with a black velvet fabric the couple loved.

“We combined a traditional piece of furniture with a funky, modern fabric,” says Etzel. “Marrying those two elements was a big aspect of the project and definitely spoke to Matt and Maile’s aesthetic.”

The MP3 team also drew inspiration from the home itself.

“We were inspired by the architecture,” Etzel continues. “It’s an older house with beautiful archways and case moldings around doors, and that really lent itself to an eclectic look.”

Designing on a Tight Timeline

To keep pace with Matt and Maile’s rapid timeline, MP3 had to move quickly from inspiration to execution. The biggest challenge for the design team was working within the time constraint without compromising the vision.

“I think we were unusually decisive clients,” says Matt. “We chose every piece of furniture we wanted almost as soon as the Martin Patrick 3 team came up with ideas.”

“There were only a few items they picked where we said, ‘Go back to the drawing board,’” agrees Maile. “And they came back with new options that fit.”

This rare level of trust and teamwork was characteristic of the entire process and allowed the designers to have fun. That sense of play is strongly reflected in the upbeat color and style of the finished design.


Remodeling for a Growing Family

Of course, selecting fabrics and finishes was only part of the ambitious design and remodel. Tim Purcell Jr. of Purcell Quality, Inc. oversaw the renovations required to realize their vision.

“We did not do a full renovation,” explains Matt, “but we touched every single room.”

On the main floor, they redid the powder room with new wallpaper and fixtures, and built a new breakfast nook. On the second floor, they replaced the sinks in the master bathroom, the light fixtures in the guest bathroom, and installed a shower, tub, and tile in a hallway bathroom.

The greatest transformation, however, is probably the new nursery and playroom.

Purcell united a small bedroom and an office by installing french doors between them. Now the bedroom is a nursery, complete with new molding, paneling, and a wall of built-in cabinets where the crib sits. And the french doors open into a large playroom their child can grow into.

Preparing For a Smooth Construction Process

In order to complete construction on time and within budget, Purcell approached the remodel with meticulous preparation.

“I expected to move into the house and have construction start right away,” admits Maile. “What I didn’t realize is how much work Tim and his team need to do before starting construction. I didn’t appreciate that at first, but once we sat down with Tim and he went through all the details, I could see why he needed to be so thoroughgoing.”

It was this level of preparation that enabled Tim to complete the work in a three-month time frame.


Living Through a Remodel

To help minimize the disruption that construction would cause while Matt and Maile lived in their home, Purcell worked on one floor at a time.

As construction was completed on each floor, the furnishings and décor could come in, opening up valuable living space.

There is no denying that sharing your home with workers Monday through Friday is challenging – especially when you’re nine months pregnant. Yet Matt and Maile feel the Purcell team made the experience as smooth and positive as it could possibly be.

“In normal circumstances, that construction might have taken much longer,” says Maile. “They did an amazing job and it was well worth it.”

Working With a Trusted Team

Over the course of the project, Matt and Maile grew to trust the Purcell and MP3 Studio teams more and more.

“It’s weird to think we never sat on a couch or touched a side table; we just saw images on paper,” says Maile. “The fact that everything works perfectly and is also very comfortable and user friendly is amazing.”

Purcell gained trust with the couple before construction even began.

“The first night we spent in our home there was a crazy rainstorm,” recalls Matt. “Rain started coming through one of the light fixtures in our gallery and also through the garage roof.”

Matt called Purcell and he arrived the next morning to quickly fix the leaks, which was outside the scope of his work.


Purcell also gave the couple some valuable advice when they approached him with plans to renovate their finished basement: He advised them to live in the house for some time first, before spending additional time and money repurposing their basement.

“That was great advice,” says Matt. “He was right. What I would do to it now is different.”

“I’m surprised by how much I love our house now,” shares Matt. “The house is fun and bright. The Martin Patrick 3 team really understood what we like.”

“Tim has been so helpful throughout the entire process, and continues to be,” adds Maile. “I feel like I could call him on his cell phone right now if I had a question. We completely trust him and his team.”

If you are embarking on an interior design or home remodel of your own, assembling the right team is crucial.

Fall In Love With Your Home

A skilled and attentive team of designers like MP3 Studio, along with a thorough and trustworthy home renovation team, can help you fall more in love with your home than you ever expected.

Ask us about our design-build services, or let us refer you to the best architects and interior designers in the Twin Cities area. Call us today at (651) 748-1304.